Five Proven Hair Removal Options
In today’s world more and more men are opting for the same grooming rights as women including smooth body skin. you don’t need to be swimmer, or male exotic dancer to make the most out of your “manscaping” techniques.
“Some men don’t want it all removed but they want it thinned out, especially on their back and chest,” comments Sandy Walburn, MD, dermatologist who performs laser hair removal.
“Men make up the majority of my clientelle, specifically for back hair removal,” says Terry Latcoff, hair waxing specialist.
Men, unlike women, are often at a loss for how to go about hair removal. We have done the research and broken down some of the options that you have.
Hair Removal Option One: Laser Hair Removal Treatments
How it works : Using laser light energy to penetrate the hair shaft, it actually kills the hair root. While it does not kill the follicle (the place where hair growth starts), technically, another hair can grow in its place, however it is difficult. Because of this laser hair removal can last a fairly long time.
How Long Does It Take : Roughly 30 minutes per treatment with up to eight treatments needed.
What Is It Best For : Removing or reducing hair on back, chest, stomach, shoulders, and genital area. Works best on light skin with dark hair; not suitable for blond or white hair. Black skin responds well to only one type of laser, the Nd: YAG.
What Does It Cost : $350-550 per treatment.
What Are The Lasting Results : After all laser hair removal treatments are completed, results could be almost permanent, with touch-up treatments annually or biannually to maintain results.
From The Experts : “Most men look to laser hair removal for thinning out or removing from the back, chest and upper arms. Lasers are especially good for thinning out the hair,” said Walburn. Unless you opt for electrolysis, laser hair removal is the only treatment that can be used for thinning hair rather than complete removal. “The average man requires five to eight sessions, however as men age, more hair grows, especially on thier backs, ” commented Walburn. “Because of this, many men will require touch-up treatments at least once per year.”
Hair Removal Option Two: Waxing
How It Works : Most people think of the sticky, honey-based waxes of the past, but today there are soy waxes, which are a creamy lotion that’s applied to the skin but adheres only to the hair. Strips of special cloth are layered over the cream and when the mixure dries (in just a few minutes) the cloths are removed, like pulling a bandage and the hair is gone.
How Long Does It Take : Depending on what is being waxed it can take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour or more.
What Is It Best For : Eyebrow shaping, unibrow, hair on ears and neck, legs, underarms, back, and arms. While waxing can easily be done in the genital area, it is painful, so you might want to try it on other parts of your body first to get an idea of the pain level.
What Does It Cost: From $10 to $90 depending on what you need done.
What Are The Lasting Results : About four to six weeks.
From The Experts : “Waxing should be done professionally, especially if you have never had it done before. Be sure to check with the salon first if you are looking for a full-body wax as some do not provide that service,” said Latcoff. She also informed us to pay close attention to aftercare advice since waxing can lead to skin infections. This can include the use of an antibacterial skin lotion for several days. Additionally, she noted that a study that she read noted that some men who had their backs waxed before laser hair removal had better results from the laser treatment.
Hair Removal Option Three: Electrolysis
How It Works : Electrolysis is the most permanant solution for hair removal. It is done by using an ultra-slim needle to penetrate each individual hair shaft, delivering tiny shocks of electricity to the hair follicle, killing the cells that make hair. When the cell is gone, no hair will grow there again.
How Long Does It Take : Each treatment is relatively short – from 10 to 20 minutes. However, if you want a lot of hair removed, it could take up to a year of weekly treatments to achieve the desired results. Since each hair is treated one at a time, you can guage the duration of your treatments based on the thickness of your hair and how much of an area it covers.
What Is It Best For : Electrolysis works well for hair in all areas, however, because of the time-consuming nature of the treatment, it is often best to start with smaller areas such as eyebrows, neck or under arms. It can also be used for hair removal in the genital area but most men find this treatment to be very painful even with a local anesthetic.
What Does It Cost : About $30-40 per treatment.
What Are The Lasting Results : Permanent
Hair Removal Option Four: Back Shavers
How It Works : Back shavers can have blades as wide as two inches and hinged handles as long as 18 inches. They are specially designed to shave your back and shoulders much in the same way you would use a back scrub brush during a shower. There are also electric back shavers for those of you who do not wish to use a blade.
What Is It Best For: Any area of the back, shoulders, or buttocks. Do not use these razors for the genital area as a cut could have serious complications; for the gential area, we recommend a safety razor that you would use for your face.
How Long Does It Take : From 20 minutes to an hour.
What Does It Cost : Under $35, plus additional blades and shaving creams.
What Are The Lasting Results : 2-4 days at most.
From The Experts : While shaving is quick and easy, Dermatologist Mary Paulson, MD, reminds us that it can increase the risk of ingrown hairs. Ingrown hair is when the cut hairs curl back into the skin instead of growing outward. This can be a particular problem for African-American men, who are more likely to develop infections caused the by ingrown hairs. “To avoid these problems, ” Paulson notes, “make sure that the hair you are shaving is wet. Consider shaving your back in the shower. You should also shave in the direction that the hair grows and lathering with shaving cream or gel before hand to make hair removal easier.” Lastly, she noted that while some believe that shaving will cause the hair to grow back thicker and courser, this is not true.
Hair Removal Option Five: Depilatories/Cream Hair Removers
How It Works : A chemical compound is contained in a gel or cream that attacks the protines in the hair and dissolves them causing the hair to loosen and fall out instantly.
What Is It Best For : Back, chest, arms, and legs. Typically, skin around the brow and the genitals can be too sensitive for this hair removal treatment.
How Long Does It Take : The compound sits on the skin for about 5 minutes, but it can take and additional 30 to 60 minutes to completely clean the skin and remove the hair. It is best to have a person help you when doing your back.
What Does It Cost : It averages $10-$20 for a home kit and $25-$50 or more for a salon treatment.
What Are The Lasting Results : A week to several weeks.
From The Experts : “The chemicals that are used in these depilatories can be very harsh, especially on sensitive skin in the genital area. I always suggest doing a small patch as a test in a small area of skin. If you have any reaction such as itching, burning, redness or blisters, wipe it off immediately and discontinue use. Since no two formulas are the same, you can try a different product before discontining this method alltogether”, stated Admir Lukas, MD.